Southern African Wildlife College

Company Information

Contact Person:

Theresa Sowry


Executive Manager : Training




The Hoheisen family bought the properties in 1933 as farmland. Later the properties were integrated into the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. Circa 1968 Mr Hoheisen withdrew his properties from the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, and it formed part of Kempiana and the warden of Timbavati. The property was managed in this way until Mr Hoheisen donated the properties, by then known as Kempiana, to WWF-SA in 1990 as part of his estate.

In 1993 the vision of a wildlife College that would train southern Africans to manage their natural heritage was first discussed by the South African Nature Foundation (SANF).

After considerable time and planning, the reality of this vision was realised when the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) donated part of the Kempiana property for the construction of the Southern African Wildlife College. Construction of Phase 1 of the College was funded by a DM10million (R25 million) grant from the German Government Development Agency, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), who made this vision a reality, and the College opened its doors in 1997 to its first students from Southern Africa. It was strongly endorsed by the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, and the Southern African Development Community (SACD) Secretariat. A letter of support was received from the Chairman of the Wildlife Sector Co-ordination Unit of SADC supporting the College.

The land, on which the College now rests, continues to belong to WWF-SA, and the Kempiana property is managed by Kruger National Park as a contractual national park. A private game lodge, Ngala, has traversing rights over a large area of Kempiana, while the College has both a training area and a limited traversing area.

WWF-SA and the Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) strongly support the College, and in the initial contract with the German Government, WWF-SA committed itself to assist with fundraising to meet the operational needs of the College for a period of 15 years. It was, however, always envisaged that the College would move slowly by surely towards self-sufficiency, which is the current drive at the College for its future security.

During 2000 the Southern African Conservation Education Trust was formed. It is envisaged that this trust will eventually provide financial security for the Southern African Wildlife College and other conservation education institutions.

During phase 1 construction of the College an association called the Bushbuckridge Builders Association (BBA) was formed, consisting of a number of small contractors from within the local communities surrounding the College. The BBA worked with Murray and Roberts in constructing the College. V3 were the construction engineers, while the architect was Dennis Moss Partnership, who won an award for the design of the College.

Although the original design was called for face-brick, the bricks eventually used construction were cement bricks, which could be manufactured by, and purchased from local community members. Two brick-making machines were donated to the communities and a total of 1 700 000 were made in the construction of the College buildings.

Local thatch was harvested by local women from the communities and used to thatch the College infrastructures. Wooden window-frames were considered, but once again a concession was made to the local communities, and they were manufactured and supplied the metal frames instead.


Physical Address

Kempiana Farm



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Postal Address

Private Bag X3015

Orpen Road



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To view a full list of all courses presented by Southern African Wildlife College click below.

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